Words of Gratitude from Around the World
One of the things that has been affirmed for me over the past two months in seminary is that Sacred Writings exist everywhere. Often, we humans, have an egocentric view of the world, believing we, personally, are the only ones with the answers, and even, sometimes, the questions. Of course, for every question, there are multiple ways to answer, often saying the same thing, but simply using different words. (Ask any teacher or lawyer this and they will tell you it is true!)
The following are poems and prayers of gratitude from various cultures and religions. May the beauty of their words touch your heart, and lift your soul.
Oludumare, oh Divine One! I give thanks
to You, the one who is as near as my
heartbeat, and more anticipated than my
next breath. Let Your wisdom become one
with this vessel as I lift my voice in
thanks for Your love.
African - Yoruban
Great Spirit, Divine One, Creator
who is heaven earth rock wind insect tree fox
human of every size shape color
Holy are your infinite names chanted sung whispered
shouted in every language, tongue.
We will midwife the rebirth of Gaia
as best we can
restoring the Great Law of Peace.
Guide our hands to the soil and seed
honoring the alchemy of food.
Let us remember your abundance
and share the bread of life with any who hunger.
We are for giving
and giving and giving.
We trust in the give-away.
We give and receive.
Let us be humble before the darkness and the light
walking in harmony amidst them.
Give us courage to know them intimately
both within and without.
For you have breathed it all---
the behind, the above, the below, the beyond.
Your awesome power courses in our veins
and animates our hearts.
You are the Great Drum.
We thank you.
translation of the Lord's Prayer
from King James to Gaian - Claudia L'amoreaux
Welcome Morning - Anne Sexton
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne,"
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
We return thanks to our mother,
the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines
for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters,
the beans and squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the bushes and trees,
which provide us with fruit.
We return thanks to the wind,
which, moving the air, has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to our grandfather He-no,
that he has protected his grandchildren from witches and reptiles,
and has given us his rain.
We return thanks to the sun,
that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in whom is embodied all goodness,
and who directs all things for the good of his children.
Native People - Iroquois
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly:
For ever and ever.
Prayer of St Richard of Chichester - 1197-1253
That she was taken out of her mother,
thanks be for that!
That she, the little one,
was taken out of her, we say,
thanks be for that!
Native People - West Greenland Eskimo
(Prayers above from World Prayers)
Buddhist Pray of Thanksgiving
(serving the food)
In this food I see clearly
the presence of the entire universe
supporting my existence.
(looking at the plate of food)
All living beings are struggling
for life.May they all have enough food
to eat today.
(just before eating)
The plate is filled with food.
I am aware that each morsel
is the fruit
of much hard work
by those who produced it.
(beginning to eat)
With the first taste, I promise
to practice loving kindness.
With the second, I promise
to relieve the suffering of others.
With the third,
I promise to see others' joy as my own.
With the fourth,
I promise to learn the way of nonattachment and equanimity.
(after the meal)
The plate is empty.
My hunger is satisfied.
I vow to live for the benefit
of all living beings.
What Was Told, That
by Jalal al-Din Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest.
What was told the cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was
whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever
was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them
so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is
being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.
The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,
in love with the one to whom every that belongs!